Love them or hate them, with December fast approaching; you’ll shortly be hearing Christmas songs almost everywhere you go. From your weekly shop to adverts on the television, the likes of Mariah Carey, Wham!, and Bing Crosby will be heard nationwide.
But which are the best UK Christmas songs of all time, and which ones deserve a spot on your Christmas playlists? The age-old question that no one can agree on.
As such, our experts at Slingo have sought to bring the UK a definitive answer. We’ve analysed Google search and Spotify data to crown the best Christmas songs and artists.
The Most Googled Christmas Songs in the UK
1. Last Christmas - Wham!
Number of Google Searches: 104,800
The most Googled Christmas song in the UK over the last 12 months is “Last Christmas” by British pop duo Wham! with just under 105,000 searches. Upon release in 1984, it was in the number two spot on the UK Singles Chart for five consecutive weeks, held off the top spot by Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.
2. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
Number of Google Searches: 84,340
The second-most Googled Christmas song in the UK is from another British artist, rock band Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”, with over 84,000 searches. Upon release in 1973, it reached the number four spot in the UK Singles Chart for four consecutive weeks, from December 1973 to January 1974.
3. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
Number of Google Searches: 75,300
And rounding out the top three most Googled Christmas songs in the UK, we have “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid, a charity supergroup of British and Irish artists. Upon release, it debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and stayed there for five weeks.
Artists with the Most UK Christmas Hits
1. Michael Bublé
Number of Popular Christmas Hits: 8
Michael Bublé has the highest number of hits featured amongst the most Googled UK Christmas songs, with eight. With the likes of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and “White Christmas” with Shania Twain. Most of his Christmas hits are contained in his album, appropriately titled Christmas; it is his most successful album, selling 12 million copies worldwide as of December 2021.
2. Mariah Carey
For King & Country
Number of Popular Christmas Hits: 7
Mariah Carey and For King & Country tie for the artist with the second-most number of popular Christmas hits in the UK. Mariah Carey has often been dubbed the “Queen of Christmas” due to the evergreen popularity of her Christmas songs, especially the 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. The Christian pop duo For King & Country released a Christmas album in 2022, titled A Drummer Boy Christmas, which debuted at number 2 on the Billboard's Top Christian Albums Chart in the United States.
4. Chris Tomlin
Number of Popular Christmas Hits: 6
And in joint-fourth place, we have Chris Tomlin and TobyMac, with six popular UK Christmas hits each. Chris Tomlin is an American contemporary Christian music artist; he’s released two Christmas music albums, each topping the holiday album chart on the Billboard. “Noel” and “Joy to the World (Unspeakable Joy)” are some of Tomlin’s Christmas hits. TobyMac is of the same genre as Tomlin but is also known for Christian rap and rock music, and he has released two Christmas music albums. “Christmas This Year” and “Light of Christmas” are some of his hits featured among the most popular festive tunes in the UK.
Most Popular UK Christmas Songs for your Spotify Playlists
1. All I Want for Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 449
One of the most iconic Christmas songs of all time, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, was featured in 449 UK Christmas playlists on Spotify. Upon release in 1994, it topped the charts in 25 countries, including Australia, Canada and France. In 2019, it also topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, 25 years after its release, breaking several records along the way.
2. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 197
Another iconic Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams, has featured in 197 UK Christmas playlists on Spotify. The song was released in 1963 as part of Williams’ The Andy Williams Christmas Album album. Throughout the 2000s, the song has consistently reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and peaked at number 21 on the UK Singles Chart in 2007.
3. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 175
And in third place, we have “Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande, which featured in 175 UK Christmas Spotify playlists. “Santa Tell Me” is one of the more modern Christmas hits, having only been released in 2014. The song debuted at number 79 on the UK Singles Charts and eventually peaked at number 11 in 2020, its fifth consecutive year in the UK Singles Charts.
The Most Popular UK Christmas Artists for your Spotify Playlists
1. Mariah Carey
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 649
Mariah Carey was the artist featured in the most UK Christmas playlists on Spotify, with 649 in total. Her song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is featured in most Spotify playlists by far; other Mariah songs that were featured a lot include; “Christmas Baby (Baby Please Come Home)”, “O Holy Night”, and “Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town”.
2. Michael Bublé
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 432
Michael Bublé takes the second spot, featured in 432 different UK Christmas playlists on Spotify across six songs. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas” was his most featured song, appearing in 137 playlists. Other featured songs include “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”.
3. Frank Sinatra
Number of UK Christmas Spotify Playlists: 401
And in third place, we have Frank Sinatra, who appeared in 401 different UK Christmas playlists on Spotify. His most featured song is “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, the 1999 remastered version, appearing in 133 playlists. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (with The B. Swanson Quartet)” and “Jingle Bells” also featured highly across UK Christmas playlists on Spotify.
To begin, we compiled a list of 226 of the best UK Christmas songs of all time, using lists such as Official Charts “The Official Top 40 most-streamed Christmas songs”, The Guardians “The 50 greatest Christmas songs – ranked!” and TimeOut’s “The 65 best Christmas songs of all time”.
We then used Google Keyword Planner to determine which Christmas songs were most searched for in the UK between October 2022 and September 2023.
We then used this list of most searched-for songs to determine which artists have the most popular Christmas hits.
Then, using the Playlist Miner, we searched “UK Christmas” playlists to determine the top 100 songs that featured in playlists the most. We also determined which artists featured on Spotify Christmas playlists the most in the UK.
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